Bay Area Irish Music Sessions

Bay Area Irish Music Sessions

Please contact bars for verification of session info

“A good séisiún can leave you walking on air, send you home happy and keep your mind filled with music for a whole week.” – Charlie Lennon




The Chieftain Bar, San Francisco – 6pm to 9pm
The Chieftain welcomes lovers of traditional Irish music every Sunday to an open session of Irish tunes and occasional songs hosted by Mark Nagle – at the authentic Irish pub located one block from San Francisco’s Moscone Convention Center.

 The Starry Plough, Berkeleyfrom 8pm
Every Sunday evening The Starry Plough presents a traditional Irish music session featuring instrumentals & vocals. Players and singers welcomed! Starting at 8pm/no cover. Donations appreciated. (Note: first Sundays Advanced Session is instruments only & invited players). 3101 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94705 510 841 0188

Wu Wei Tea Temple, Fairfax – from 3 – 5pm
Irish session third Sunday of the month Wu Wei Tea Temple, 1820 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, Fairfax, CA 94930

19 Broadway Bar & Nightclub, Fairfaxfrom 1 – 4pm
Irish Session at MYX Lounge first Sunday of the month, led by Cormac Gannon of the Gasmen. For information email Cormac Gannon. 19 Broadway website or (415) 459-1091

The Plough and Stars, San Francisco – from 9pm
Known as the “Home of Traditional Irish Music in the Bay Area” The Plough and Stars’ Sunday session features the talents of Jack Gilder, Marla Fibish, John Sherry, Susan Spurlock, Kyle Alden, Darcy Noonan, Richard Mandel, Cieran Marsden, Erin Shrader, Richard Mandel & many more musicians and  friends … (see music page for video)

Poet and Patriot, Santa Cruz – 3.30pm – 6.30pm
320 Cedar St. in downtown Santa Cruz
Email [email protected] or call (831) 426-8620 for details

Redwood Cafe, Cotati 3pm – 5pm
Celtic Fiddle Music, Monthly on the second Sunday
6pm – 10pm – Irish Jam Session. Monthly on the second and fourth Sunday
8240 Old Redwood Hwy, Cotati – email

Starry Plough, Berkeley

Every Sunday evening The Starry Plough presents a traditional Irish music session featuring instrumentals & vocals. Players and singers welcomed.


Starry Plough, Berkeley

Every Monday is Irish Dance and Céilí, hosted by John Slaymaker. Dance lessons at 7pm. Music and Dancing at 9pm.


Plough & Stars, San Francisco • Tuesdays, Sundays

O’Flaherty’s, San Jose • Tuesdays


The South Bay’s longest running traditional Irish music session thanks to Ray and Marie O’Flaherty who have kept the tradition going at the pub. Hosted by Julie Horner, the atmosphere is warm and welcoming, and the music is lively with tunes and songs in the spirit of the tradition. 6:30 to 10:00 every Tuesday evening in downtown San Jose. See Tuesdays on calendar for details.




Meetup groups are also worth checking out for Irish music – and social opportunities. One member shares “…have been playing the whistle for a few years now, originally from India, and have been living in Upstate NY for the last couple years. Kerry music is my favorite!” Join a group, or start your own…


In Memory – John Lavelle (1935 – 2016)

johnOne of the San Jose area’s elder statesmen of Irish music, John Edward Lavelle, a regular at O’Flaherty’s Irish Pub sessions, died peacefully at his home October 21st, 2016 after a long and courageous battle with Parkinson’s disease.

Outside of his love for his wife, Kathleen and sons, daughters and grandchildren, John’s greatest love was playing traditional Irish tunes on the button accordion. He picked up the accordion at the age of five and never put it down. He brought the joy of Irish music to all those around him. He had the honor of playing for Pope John Paul II during his visit to San Francisco in the 1980’s. For years, John could be found performing in Irish music sessions across the Bay Area where he would regale the crowd with selections from the hundreds of traditional tunes in his repertoire. To purchase John’s CD and to find out more go to John Lavelle website.


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